International Foundation Programme (Autumn start) - Credit

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The Kent International Foundation Programme (IFP) is primarily designed for international students, allowing them to develop their academic knowledge and skills, and if required their English language ability, for entry to undergraduate study at university.


2021-22: Our IFP will be offered both online and, if UK government guidelines allow, on campus. Applicants will be asked to select their mode of delivery at the point of offer.

The programme, on offer at the University of Kent for over 40 years, takes place on the Canterbury campus and students are full members of the University with access to University accommodation and all academic, welfare, social and sport facilities on campus.

With academic subject modules and academic skills modules taught by highly qualified University of Kent tutors, the IFP leads to a wide range of degree programmes at the University.

Progression on to your degree programme is automatic at the end of the IFP, if you achieve the required grades.

Autumn-start IFP Progression Routes

Our Autumn-start (Sep) IFP provide access to honours degrees in the following subjects (those marked with * are also available on our Spring-start IFP).

For a full list of degree programmes you can progress to from the Kent IFP, see our Progression Requirements page.

International Programmes provides high-quality in-house pathways to Kent degrees, as well as variety of pre-sessional and in-sessional academic skills and language support. It also supports the University's internationalisation agenda with training in global leadership and intercultural communication.

Entry requirements

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements below demonstrate the type of qualifications you will need to apply for the International Foundation Programme (IFP). Some of our courses have subject specific requirements. Please visit the International Pathways site for more information.

To gain entry on to the IFP, you need the following:

  • a good academic school-leaving certificate with particular strengths in subjects that are relevant to your intended area of study approved by the University of Kent
  • a secondary school-leaving certificate approved by the University of Kent
  • appropriate national or international qualifications
  • to satisfy specific departmental entry requirements
  • for progression to some degree programmes, GCSE grades A/B/C maths or equivalent. If you do not have this level of qualification, you will need to do the IFP Maths module.

The University welcomes applications from international students. To gain entry on to the IFP, you need the following:

  • a good academic school-leaving certificate with particular strengths in subjects that are relevant to your intended area of study approved by the University of Kent
  • a secondary school-leaving certificate approved by the University of Kent
  • appropriate national or international qualifications
  • satisfy specific departmental entry requirements
  • for progression to some degree programmes, GCSE grades A-C/9-4 maths or equivalent. If you do not have this level of qualification, you will need to do the IFP Maths module.

For details of entry requirements per country please visit the International Pathways site.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

  • A level


  • GCSE

    Minimum of 3 x 6s (Bs) and 2 x 4s (Cs)

  • Access to HE Diploma

    Not applicable

  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and National Extended Diploma qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis.

  • International Baccalaureate

    24 points

  • International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average.

English Language Requirements

All students requiring a student visa to study in the UK who are not from a majority English speaking country will need a IELTS for UKVI with a minimum of 5.0 in all skills or a Pearson PTE Academic UKVI with a minimum of 36 in all skills. A list of majority English speaking countries is available on the English Language Requirements websiteIf you will be applying for a student visa, you need to take the IELTS or PTE at a UKVI accredited centre; the correct tests are called IELTS for UKVI and Pearson PTE Academic UKVI.

Students who do not require a visa or are applying to study online in 2020-2021 can join on their high school grades where suitable or other English language qualifications such as: 

  • IELTS Academic: minimum 5.0 in all skills
  • TOEFL iBT: Overall 62; Reading 15; Writing 15; Listening 14; Speaking 19
  • PTE Academic: minimum 36 in each skill
  • GCSE English (first language): 4 (C)
  • GCSE English (second language): 5 (B)

If you have another English-language qualification that is equivalent to IELTS, please email us at and we will be happy to advise you.

I would recommend the IFP, it gives you so much, not just academically but also socially; I really felt I was part of something when I was studying on the IFP

Mariam Al-Bader - International Foundation Programme


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Course structure

Duration: 9 months

The International Foundation Programme is a modular course taught over three terms, starting in autumn.

The Academic Skills Development classes help you work to develop all the necessary skills to fully enjoy your academic experience in the UK, for example, seminar and group work communication skills, developing as an independent student, improving skills in analysis, critique, time management, and project management. You will then take modules which are relevant to your chosen undergraduate degree programme.

This course structure is indicative of the modules available for this programme. Modules are based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

Foundation year

You take the compulsory module LZ036 and either LZ035 or LZ037 based on the level of your English. You then choose a further 90 credits from the remaining list of optional modules.

Compulsory modules currently include

Through this module, students will develop the transferable linguistic and academic skills necessary to successfully complete all the other modules on the IFP. The programme of study will cover academic writing, reading, speaking and listening skills.

Find out more about LZ036

Optional modules may include

Through this module, students will develop the transferable linguistic and academic skills necessary to successfully complete all the other modules on the IFP. The programme of study focuses primarily on grammar, vocabulary and academic writing skills but will include all language skills.

The module begins with an intensive revision of language structures and goes on to embed these structures into academic writing. Students will learn key steps in the writing process and be introduced to a range of written academic genres. Throughout the module, students will also develop their academic vocabulary through reading and writing tasks specially designed for this.

Find out more about LZ037

This module provides students with an introduction to elementary spatial design theory and practice. It prepares students for Stage One entry into degree courses in architecture, interior design and interior architecture, in addition to associated areas of design study.

Key curriculum areas that might be covered include observation (how to read spatial environments), making (basic principles of construction of objects and environments), recording & communication (skills in freehand drawing, basic workshop techniques for making maquettes, and photography), formal manipulation through design projects (scale, the user, synthesis of competing demands), basic principles of design history, brief making and questioning and a possible Field trip

The syllabus comprises the following subject areas:

i. History/theory and construction/manufacture

ii. Observation and documentation

iii. Systems of communication: drawings, scale, model making, photography.

iv. Design Project

Find out more about LZ038

This module introduces students to the study of Biosciences, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics in this field. This module is predominantly theoretical and is class-room based. The module will explore Biosciences and the research methods common in its research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and theories in the study of Biosciences. The module encourages students to explore Biosciences in a manner which is relevant for University undergraduate study.

Find out more about LZ045

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module will explore psychology as a Science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of consciousness, sensation, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, group processes.

The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting-edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society

Find out more about LZ050

This module provides an introduction to programming. Software pervades many aspects of most professional fields and sciences, and an understanding of the development of software applications is useful as a basis for many disciplines. This module covers the development of simple programs. Concepts common to all types of programming – such as sequence, selection and iteration – are covered to provide an understanding of the basic principles of software. In addition, object-oriented concepts are introduced, including classes, objects, constructors, methods and fields. The module includes an introduction to an educational software development environment, as well as other electronic tools, such as electronic mail, a web browser and printing facilities.

Find out more about LZ051

Cell structure and function: cell organelles; cytoskeleton; DNA/RNA structure; introduction to transcription and translation; introduction to disorders of cells and tissues.

Cell division: mitosis; meiosis; mechanisms of creating genetic variation.

Cell differentiation and body tissues: tissue types; extracellular matrix; cell junctions.

Organ systems of the body including:

Musculoskeletal system: muscle types; mechanism of skeletal muscle contraction; structure, development and maintenance of bone; types of joints.

Circulatory system: overview of circulation; composition of blood; cells of blood.

Immune system: infectious agents; lymphatic system; innate and acquired defences.

Digestive system: digestive tract and accessory organs; types of nutrients; major digestive enzymes; absorption and assimilation.

Urinary system and excretion: kidney and urinary tract; urine formation; functions in waste removal, homeostasis.

Endocrine and Nervous systems: concept of homeostatic loops; endocrine glands and hormones; organization of nervous system; generation and conduction of a nerve impulse; synapses and neurotransmitters; comparison of neural and hormonal signalling.

Find out more about BI305

Subject-based and communication skills are relevant to all the bioscience courses. This module allows you to become familiar with practical skills, the analysis and presentation of biological data and introduces some basic mathematical and statistical skills as applied to biological problems. It also introduces you to the computer network and its applications and covers essential skills such as note-taking and essay writing.

Find out more about BI308

The module will be divided into two halves; the first half will look at debates within epistemology, philosophy of religion and the philosophy of mind. The purpose of these is twofold; first to expand students' theoretical knowledge across a broad range, and secondly to encourage them to discuss complex ideas in a structured and critical way. The second half will build upon the skills developed in the first half by exploring more contentious issues in moral and political philosophy.

Find out more about LZ012

Through this module, students will develop their analytical and problem solving skills to successfully complete other related modules on the IFP. The programme of study will be divided into lectures in calculus, algebra and statistics.

As part of the orientation process, students will take a pre-course test which, along with other factors, will determine whether they go into the upper or lower band. This will involve an in class test in the first week. Students will then be grouped according to their mathematical ability and academic focus. The teaching in the upper bands will be geared more towards systematically working towards a solution while that in the lower bands will deal with mathematical techniques.

Find out more about LZ013

The module will aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of the nature and sources of English law, including its political nature and the hierarchy and structure of the English Legal System. Included within this, the problems associated with the interpretation and implementation of the law will be highlighted. The political nature of law and its relation to justice will also be stressed. In the second period, separate areas of the law will be considered (e.g. criminal law, contract law, and constitutional law) in order to give students a feel for the many different branches of law and how these often inter-relate.

Find out more about LZ019

The old European order was profoundly shaken by the outbreak of revolutions in the American colonies in 1776 and France in 1789. These events heralded an age of dramatic changes in culture, society, and politics. Beginning in Britain in the mid-seventeenth century, the Industrial Revolutions further reshaped European society. New cities sprang up, leading to the decline of rural regions. In these new urban communities new classes emerged, along with a growing sense of class-consciousness; across Europe new political ideas were formed. This was an age of revolutions, but also an age of empire; European nations throughout the long nineteenth century conquered and exploited peoples in Asia and Africa, while the spoils of empire fed the growth of domestic societies. This was an era of great progress and innovation, but also of deprivation and inequity.

This module will challenge students' understanding of political, economic, social and cultural developments in modern European history, increasing their historical knowledge and engaging with key historiographical debates. Utilising a range of primary and secondary sources, students will be encouraged to discuss complex developments in a structured and critical way. These skills will be introduced to students through the consideration of a number of topics including: the American and French Revolutions; Industrialisation; Artistic Movements; Poverty; Political Representation; the Revolutions of 1848; German and Italian Unification; Imperialism; the outbreak of the First World War.

Find out more about LZ027

The module will be divided into three main topics of study which are intended to challenge the student to ask questions about their social world and to explore their own individual and cultural experiences within a wider context. In particular, students are encouraged to examine their common-sense assumptions by 'thinking sociologically'. To do this requires not only the development of a sociological imagination but also the use of appropriate methodology and theoretical approaches. This course will introduce these skills to students through different topics. Studies begin with an exploration of the Sociological Imagination and follow on with Families and Intimate Relationships, Globalisation and Sex and Gender.

Find out more about LZ029

The module will deal with alternative solutions to the problem of resource allocation leading to consideration of the operation of the market mechanisms and how the decisions and actions of economic agents are co-ordinated. Economic systems will be evaluated including treatment of circumstances in which markets are considered to fail. Market failure will be analysed utilising the micro-economic techniques developed earlier.

Find out more about LZ030

Through this module, students will be given a broad introduction to the study of politics and international relations with particular emphasis on key debates within the discipline as well as contemporary events. Students will be introduced to the contested nature of politics before moving on to consider how political systems are formed, what major ideas are that drive them as well as the question of how we compare political systems. This will deepen into an examination of political ideologies as well as the role of the state and the nation.

Find out more about LZ031

The module will deal with alternative solutions to the problem of business resource allocation leading to consideration of the operation of the marketing function and how the decisions and actions of managers are co-ordinated. Operational systems will be evaluated including treatment of circumstances in which management techniques are considered to fail. Financial failure will also be analysed utilising the ratio analysis techniques developed.

Find out more about LZ033

Through this module, students will improve the transferable academic skills necessary to successfully complete their other modules on the IFP and to succeed on their future undergraduate programmes. The programme of study will cover the development of critical and analytical skills.

Students will attend regular seminars/workshops each week, focusing on furthering their academic skills. They will receive input on developing a research topic; writing and presenting a proposal; developing research questions; and engaging in reflection on the research and writing process. Students will also review how to write an annotated bibliography; briefly revisit how to plan and write an essay and how to undertake research; and practice presentation skills. They will have the opportunity to meet with their tutor regularly during the term for tutorials, to discuss their individual projects and progress on the module.

Find out more about LZ035


The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £12600
  • International full-time £16800

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


View scholarship opportunities for this programme on the International Pathways website.

Please note that Student Loans Company (SLC) funding is not available for UK students intending to study on the IFP (autumn or spring start), as this is a one year stand-alone programme. 

Undergraduate degree programmes following on from the IFP will be eligible for SLC funding, as are undergraduate degree programmes 'with an integrated foundation year'.

Teaching and assessment

Our IFP is entirely managed and delivered by the University of Kent, allowing us to offer teaching of exceptional quality. Teaching is organised in small groups and includes lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and independent learning. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to apply the skills learnt in one module to all other modules and find relations between modules in order to broaden their education.

Assessment on the majority of modules will be through a combination of final examinations and coursework, including assignments from 1,000 to 2,000 words, online quizzes and tests from 45 minutes to two hours in length.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

On the IFP you will be provided with:

  • a range of modules covering the foundations of a range of subjects
  • teaching informed by current research and scholarship to encourage active involvement
  • opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in a range of activities
  • a stimulating and challenging education
  • a firm conceptual foundation in the subjects necessary for progression to stage one in their chosen pathway
  • academic literacy through the academic skills modules
  • general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills
  • the ability to manage their own learning and carry out some independent research appropriate to foundation level
  • appropriate academic and pastoral guidance

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You will gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the inter-disciplinary nature of academic skills in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • an appropriate degree of factual and conceptual knowledge of your chosen subject(s) for the purposes of university study
  • academic and social cultures and practices other than your own
  • intercultural language issues.
  • the structures, registers and varieties of language required to be successful on a University of Kent degree programme

Intellectual skills

You will develop intellectual abilities in the following:

  • present, evaluate and interpret a variety of data using defined techniques in a logical and systematic fashion
  • develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with the basic theories, methods, principles and concepts of the subjects studied
  • engage in critical reflection, verbal discussion and written and interpretative analysis of key material
  • assess the merits of contrasting theories and explanations, and make links across different subjects
  • present rational and reasoned theses and arguments to a range of audiences
  • separate fact from opinion and identify arguments and counter-arguments
  • distinguish between and use an appropriate range of technical and numerical systems and/or a range of spoken and written academic and other registers, styles and genres

Subject-specific skills

You will gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • demonstrate knowledge of the main methods of enquiry and analysis in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • present data in graphic and textual form in a manner appropriate to the subjects being studied
  • evaluate and interpret data and information, develop arguments and come to sound conclusions in accordance with the relevant theories and concepts related to the subjects being studied
  • demonstrate an appropriate level of (subject-specific) linguistic competence
  • evaluate the reliability and validity of source data (factual, theoretical, quantitative and qualitative) and incorporate your own opinion in an appropriate manner
  • be able to work in laboratory and workshop environments and use appropriate equipment and tools (for Sciences or Architecture and Arts pathways.)

Transferable skills

You will gain transferable skills in the following:

  • work with others through the preparation of projects, seminars and presentations, and through general pair and group work in class
  • recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and improve your performance as a result
  • recognise how skills learned in one module can be applied in another
  • apply critical and academic skills across all modules
  • communicate information to specialist and non-specialist audiences and show a degree of audience awareness in terms of written and oral text
  • demonstrate a degree of autonomy, showing the ability to learn effectively using your own resources, be organised and meet deadlines
  • select and use appropriate library and IT applications and resources.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.

TEF Gold logo


Students progress to studying at degree level on a range of programmes. For further information on careers, please see the relevant undergraduate degree programme.

Apply for this course

There are two ways to apply:

  1. Apply online. When you apply, you must state which degree programme you want to study after your IFP.
  2. Alternatively, you can apply via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The institution code number of the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT. You can view application instructions on the UCAS website

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254


School website

International Pathways